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Oct 27, 2009 07:58 PM

Super-duper pumpkin pie?

I was assigned the pumpkin pie this t-giving, and I would like to spiff it up a bit. When I was very young, my mother would make a pumpkin chiffon pie, although being young, I have no memory of what the "chiffon" aspect was, although I liked it. There will also already be a pecan pie variation on the table, so I can't go in that direction. Any thoughts about chiffon or something else? Maybe a cheesecake?

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  1. - well i happen to love pumpkin with chocolate, so i might do a chocolate pumpkin pie. Martha Stewart has a popular one:
    you can sub chocolate wafers/cookies for the graham crackers if you prefer a chocolate crust

    - i also adore pumpkin cheesecake, preferably with a gingersnap crust

    - for something different you could also do a rich spiced gingerbread with pumpkin ice cream...or maybe pumpkin creme brulee

    3 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Yes to the pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust, bonus points if your gingersnaps have actual spice and warmth to them. Do a lighter, more French-style cheesecake filling with the gingersnap crust (topped, of course, with a spiced whipped cream and a crisp gingersnap for texture) and you'll separate yourself from the heavy pecan pie right away.

      1. re: Ali

        I was just asked for a good pumpkin cheesecake recipe, could you share yours. I don't know what a French style is like. TIA

        1. re: paprkutr

          paprkutr - unfortunately, my fav. recipe seems to have died somewhere in internet-land. However, I will say that the pumpkin cheesecake recipe that is (or at least used to be) on the back of the Philly cream cheese cheesecake works as a great base recipe - using it to tweak to your moods: adding a little five-spice for some extra depth, etc.

          French-style cheesecake is generally just lighter and airier, using gelatin as a binder. The cheese in this cheesecake coming from Neufchatel. It takes quite a bit of tweaking to get this sort of batter (custard? what the heck is it?) to work with a crumbly crust (like the gingersnaps) since it's usually done with a pastry crust. It's doable, though I don't know that I could help on procedure since I just wing it whenever I do crazy things like this.

          In any case, probably a Philly-style (really, just lighter than the NY-style) would go over better at the Thanksgiving table since it just feels more familiar.

          And all my rec. revolve around the fact that I really don't like the brick that is NY-style cheesecake, so if that's your style, definitely don't listen to me. I'm biased again it.

    2. A smear of mincemeat on the pastry shell before adding the pumpkin filling is nice - for a very holiday take if you want to go that route. The spices in each are compatible; pretty much the same really.

      1. Add some Kahlua or other coffee liqueur to the pumpkin mixture.

        1. I usually go for an extremely "purist" pumpkin pie, but I started experimenting with new recipes recently to find one that worked well with squash, in anticipation of not being able to get any canned pumpkin this year. (Up until a week or so ago, there was no pumpkin at all on shelves here in Boston, due to the shortage).

          It turns out that the winner was a very rich pumpkin pie recipe from Paula Deen, that used cream cheese and butter. It had something of a cheesecake taste and a nice smooth texture, but not a true cheesecake consistency. It worked well to "jazz up" the squash pie, but I'm thinking I might even use it for pumpkin now. It does need to be served room temperature or warmed slightly, or else the texture is a little "grainy" when cold.

          5 Replies
          1. re: another_adam

            Thanks, all. By the way, another_adam , I'm in Boston too, but didn't realize there's a shortage. Is it Boston only? Should I be sure to hoard, if I come across a supply of canned pumpkin? And is it related to the shortage of H1N1 vaccine?

            1. re: somervilleoldtimer

              I think the crisis has passed, at least for now! At least in my usual pumpkin haunts (Trader Joe's, Stop&Shop, Shaw's) there was none to be found up until about a week and a half ago. It did seem to be fairly localized--I readily found big cans (though no smaller ones) in upstate NY, and brought some back in case, figuring I could auction off the extras on the black market :) They might just have been getting limited supplies in Boston, and selling out immediately-- but whatever it was, it was sad to be reading all these posts about pumpkin and not being able to get anyway!

              At any rate, TJ's and Stop and Shop both have decent stocks now, so I think we're OK. And at any rate, I learned in the process that with the right recipe, you can just sub TJ's pureed butternut squash and probably nobody would notice!

              1. re: another_adam

                The best pumpkin pie I ever had was a sweet potato pie. Use Princella canned sweet potatoes.

              2. re: somervilleoldtimer

                This shortage, now abating, has been discussed at length in the media and on CH:
                It reflects a poor harvest in 2008. Therefore, it is likely to recur, perhaps worse, next summer so you might want to buy early for fall 2010.

                Adam, that Paula Deen recipe may put the lie to Garrison Keillor's oft-repeated assertion (which rings true, compared to, say, apple pie) that the best pumpkin pie you ever ate is not all that much better than the worst pumpkin pie that you ever ate.

                1. re: greygarious

                  Yeah I heard about the shortage and bought a couple of cans thinking there would be none and yet the shelves are fully stocked more so than ever---it turns out I live in a major pumpkin producing state (home to Libbys)--who knew?

            2. I've made Sherry Yard's Triple Silken Pumpkin Pie several times (can Google for many iterations of recipe). It's pumpkin Pie on 'roids. Basically it's three layers (traditional pie, cream/creme fraiche layer in middle, pumpkin mousse on top) made in a springform pan.

              Has many steps & ingredients, but not so bad if spread over several days. I've really only had problems with getting the crust just right (often a bit on hard side), but otherwise it's an impressive thing to serve since it's so tall.